Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 44, September 2000

The Paeroa & District Historical Society records the death on 24 August 1999 of a very early member, Bruce Buchanan.

Bruce and his wife, Otto, celebrated their 61st Wedding Anniversary in March 1999 in the same rimu-lined house which they built when they married. The house was situated on their then 186 acre property on Awaiti Road, purchased in 1936 for £5000. The land was described then as being nothing but pukekos, blackberries and tea tree and the Buchanans were refused a bank loan as the manager considered it to be unfarmable. After Bruce had spent a year clearing the land, the loan was granted.

Shortly before his death, Bruce commented, "Farming has changed about as much as computers". They saw the invention of tractors which Bruce said changed farming dramatically. "A tractor never sweated, never got tired and all you had to do was put petrol in it." The couple survived the Great Depression, "as poor as church mice, but so was the next fella".

Bruce and Otto's sons now own and farm the 162 hectare property which has been divided into two blocks, one on each side of the original home. The two farms sustain 230 cows on each block. In Bruce's farming days, he "only milked about 80 cows, in twice the time it takes our sons to milk 230".

The Paeroa & District Historical Society extends sympathy to Otto Buchanan and her family.